ACLU To Ask For Review Of Lawsuit Challenging FBI Brutality

Attacked Journalists Deserve Their Day In Court

CONTACT: ACLU National, (212) 549-2666;
William Ramírez, ACLU of Puerto Rico, (787) 250-4410;

SAN JUAN, PR - The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday will ask a federal appeals court to allow a case brought by journalists who were kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by FBI agents to move forward. The ACLU will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to reverse an earlier decision by the district court that sided with the FBI agents and ignored
important constitutional issues raised by the journalists.

On November 5, 2007, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the journalists, asserting that the FBI agents had violated their First Amendment right to gather news and their Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force. The ACLU’s lawsuit asserts that the FBI agents prevented the journalists from gathering the news by, among other things, punching, shoving, and kicking them, spraying pepper spray in their faces, covering the lenses of their camera, and pointing an automatic rifle at one of the journalists.

Oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of several reporters who were kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by FBI agents

Catherine Crump and Aden Fine of the ACLU First Amendment Working Group, William Ramirez and Josue Gonzalez of the ACLU of Puerto Rico and Nora Vargas-Acosta will appear before circuit judges Sandra Lynch, Bruce Selya and Juan Torruella of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press has filed an amicus brief in the case

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. EST

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Jose V. Toledo Courthouse
300 Recinto Sur Street, 5th Floor
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The ACLU’s brief and other related documents are available online here:

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